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The Morning After: Touring Mercedes' very luxurious EV

Engadget

This "S-Class of EVs" is the first full-electric car from Mercedes to come to the US, combining a low drag coefficient with a large battery pack for a range of 478 miles, using Europe's WLTP estimate. Tesla, Porsche and Audi already have electric luxury sedans, but this looks like an interesting and extremely classy competitor. Roberto Baldwin is ready to walk us through the features and its futuristic interior, which includes a biometric sensor for logging in with voice or fingerprint. There's no word on how much it will cost, and we haven't taken it on the road yet, but I'm already digging its unique taillights and fastback hatch. It's barely been a month since DJI unveiled a new drone, and the company already has another to show.


Raleigh automation startup using artificial intelligence MuukLabs lands $750,000

#artificialintelligence

RALEIGH – Less than a year after graduating from Techstars Kansas City Accelerator, MuukLabs has landed $750,000 in convertible notes. The Raleigh-based startup, which offers a no-code test automation platform powered by artificial intelligence, is now getting ready to scale. NY-based Contour Venture Partners led the round. "As an immigrant from Mexico, I'm experiencing firsthand what makes the United States the land of opportunity," said its co-founder Ivan Barajas Vargas. He added that Techstars was "key" to securing this investment.


US Sanctions on Russia Rewrite Cyberespionage's Rules

WIRED

Less than four months after the revelation of one of the biggest hacking events in history--Russia's massive breach of thousands of networks that's come to be known as the SolarWinds hack--the US has now sent the Kremlin a message in the form of a punishing package of diplomatic and economic measures. But even as the retribution for SolarWinds becomes clear, the question remains: What exactly is that message? By most any interpretation, it doesn't seem to be based on a rule that the United States has ever spelled out before. On Thursday, the Biden administration fulfilled its repeated promises of retaliation for both the SolarWinds hacking campaign and a broad array of other Russian misbehavior that includes the Kremlin's continuing disinformation operations and other interference in the 2020 election, the poisoning of Putin political adversary Aleksey Navalny, and even older Russian misdeeds including the NotPetya worm and the cyberattack on the 2018 Winter Olympics. The Treasury Department has leveled new sanctions at six cybersecurity companies with purported ties to Russian intelligence services, as well as four organizations associated with its disinformation operations.


Katz School of Science and Health Will Offer M.S. in Artificial Intelligence

#artificialintelligence

In Yeshiva University's engineering-focused M.S. in Artificial Intelligence (AI), offered by the Katz School of Science and Health, students will learn the key skills most valued in today's marketplace, including machine learning and deep neural networks, along with cutting-edge technologies such as reinforcement learning, voice recognition and generation, and image recognition and generation. In the program's project-based courses, students will build systems, models and algorithms using the best available artificial intelligence design patterns and engineering principles, all done in the heart of Manhattan, a global epicenter for artificial intelligence work and research. Prof. Andrew Catlin is the program director for the AI program, with a background as a data scientist and production systems developer who has worked with such major clients as Fidelity Investments; Smart Money; Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette; Manufacturers Hanover Trust; and the National Football League. He is also a founder of multiple tech startups, including Hudson Technology and Metrics Reporting. He teaches graduate courses in recommender systems, natural language processing and neural networks, among others.


Can the European Union prevent an artificial intelligence dystopia?

New Scientist

A European Union plan to regulate artificial intelligence could see companies that break proposed rules on mass surveillance and discrimination fined millions of euros. Draft legislation, leaked ahead of its official release later this month, suggests the EU is attempting to find a "third way" on AI regulation, between the free market US and authoritarian China. The draft rules represent an outright ban on AI designed to manipulate people "to their detriment", carry out indiscriminate surveillance or calculate "social scores". Much of the wording is currently vague enough that it could cover the entire advertising industry or nothing at all. In any case, the military and any agency ensuring public security are exempt.


Nasa's Mars lander Insight is going into 'emergency hibernation' and might die, space agency says

The Independent - Tech

Nasa's InSight Mars lander is currently trying to endure the abrasive Martian environment, as it sits on the Red Planet conserving power as its solar panels get covered in dust. InSight was designed to be powered by solar energy, gathered through dual two-meter panels. It was always expected that the panels would reduce their power output as time went on and dust landed on them, but would still have enough to last throughout the two-year mission. Unfortunately, not all has gone to plan. Despite InSight landing in Elysium Planitia, a windswept area of Mars that gets lots of sunlight, none of the passing dust devils (funnel-like chimneys of hot air) have been close enough to clean the panels.


Clock Ticking for Strategy to Maintain U.S. Global Lead in Artificial Intelligence - Seapower

#artificialintelligence

U.S. technological advantages over great power competitor China could be lost in less than 10 years without a robust and comprehensive artificial intelligence (AI) security strategy, according to the findings of an independent government commission. "For the first time since World War II, the United States' technological predominance -- which undergirds both our economic and military competitiveness -- is under severe threat by the People's Republic of China," Robert Work, vice chairman of the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, told a live-streamed Pentagon press briefing April 9 on the commission's final report. And the most important technology "that the United States must master is artificial intelligence and all of its associated technologies," Work added. Likening artificial intelligence to how harnessing electricity opened up a field of fields, Work said AI would affect quantum computing, healthcare, finance and military competition. Work, who served as deputy secretary of defense in the Obama and Trump administrations, stressed the immediate and long-term risks.


China Rivalry Spurs Republicans and Democrats to Align on Tech Spending

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

WASHINGTON--Legislation with bipartisan support in Congress would expand the role of the National Science Foundation and provide up to $200 billion in tech and related research funding to meet what backers say is a growing threat from China. The centerpiece of the package is a bill that would rename the federal government's science agency as the National Science and Technology Foundation, and authorize it to spend $100 billion over five years for research into artificial intelligence and machine learning, robotics, high-performance computing and other advanced technologies. An additional $10 billion would be authorized for the Commerce Department to designate at least 10 regional technology hubs for research, development and manufacturing of key technologies. Additional funding would likely be made available for domestic semiconductor manufacturing and other tech-related supply-chain proposals. The Endless Frontier Act got a hearing before the Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday, drawing support from Republicans and Democrats.


Microwave weapon could disable a swarm of military attack drones

New Scientist

Military drones can resist radio-jamming anti-drone devices, but a microwave weapon could take down a whole swarm at once, or disable just one with sniper-like precision


NASA's Mars helicopter gets ready to make history

National Geographic

NASA is nearly ready to attempt the first flight on another planet. The space agency's small helicopter, called Ingenuity, has been deposited in a flat area on Mars, and it is running through a series of final tests before it tries to lift into the thin Martian air. Ingenuity's first flight was originally slated for April 11, but the mission hit a snag during a pre-flight test. While trying to spin the helicopter's rotors at full speed without leaving the ground, Ingenuity's onboard computer ended the test early. NASA says the helicopter is safe and communicating with Earth.